Car accidents in Ocean City and other parts of Maryland are common occurrences. After all, Maryland drivers, especially in Baltimore, have ranked at the bottom of one insurer’s ratings of good drivers for over 10 years. In fact, the insurer noted that Maryland drivers are involved in auto accidents at a much more frequent rate than drivers in most other states.
So, with the increased likelihood of an Ocean City or Baltimore car accident, many Maryland drivers would like to know the financial recovery that can be obtained if they are involved in a car accident occurs.
There are three types of damages available to the driver who did not cause the accident – economic, non-economic and punitive.
Economic damages are objective losses that have a specific dollar amount.
Economic damages include:
- past and future medical expenses,
- past and future lost wages,
- household services,
- therapy costs,
- property damage (including the cost of repair and replacement as well as diminished value),
- out-of-pocket expenses,
- lost income,
- funeral expenses
To recover economic damages, you must provide proof such as pay stubs, medical bills, and receipts for expenses.
There is no limit on the amount of economic damages that can be collected in an auto accident case. However, as a practical matter, the amount of insurance carried by the negligent driver often serves as a limitation on recovery.
Non-economic damages are subjective, non-monetary losses.
Non-economic damages under Maryland law include:
- pain and suffering,
- emotional distress,
- loss of society and companionship,
- loss of consortium, and
- loss of enjoyment of life.
In addition, Maryland has a cap on non-economic damages that is related to the year in which the auto accident occurs.
Determining the amount of non-economic damages is where the services of an Ocean City or Baltimore car accident attorney is crucial. An auto accident lawyer can provide more details.
Punitive damages are awarded when the other driver’s conduct is especially bad. Under Maryland law, punitive damages can be awarded when the defendant’s conduct constitutes “actual malice” which means that the defendant intended to cause the injury or acted with evil motive.
However, “actual malice” is a high standard and punitive damages, while a possibility, are rarely awarded, even in DWI/DUI cases.
Collateral Source Rule
Another factor in financial compensation coming from an Ocean City or Baltimore car accident is a rule that allows the non-negligent driver to recover for injuries and damages that have already been paid. The “collateral source rule” means that negligent drivers are “totally on the hook” for the full value of the harm they cause in spite of the plaintiff obtaining compensation from other sources.
For example, if a plaintiff in an Ocean City auto accident has enough PIP or health insurance to pay all of the medical bills, the negligent driver is still liable for the full amount of those damages.
In another instance, even if a plaintiff in an automobile accident has enough sick time or vacation time to cover wages lost from time off because of the accident, the negligent driver must reimburse the other driver for the time missed.
Maronick Law, LLC is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh auto accident needs. If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident, you should talk to a car accident attorney. An Ocean City auto accident lawyer can make sure that you are fully compensated for the losses stemming from your motor vehicle accident.
If you have access to Zoom, we can meet with you remotely. The consultation is free. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.881.4022 or via the website.